Here's a little story for you.

Once upon a time there was a Guide. Due to a lack of security as far as things Guidey go, his regular account name got out amongst some online troublemakers. He and several other Guides were harrassed repeatedly in their regular account names by some of these troublemakers.

One day, in the middle of the harrassment, one of the troublemakers presented this Guide with his real name, address and phone number, just as he had entered it at Keyword BILLING. When the Guide went to his bosses with the story, they said "This is impossible, that information had to be obtained elsewhere. And we can prove that!" So his bosses went to AOL's Switchboard, and they called Directory Assistance, and went back to the Guide with what they found there and said "See? Your information is available THIS way! This is how the troublemakers got your information!"

But the information that the bosses found using these methods WASN'T the same as what was at Keyword BILLING. It wasn't the same as the information presented to the Guide by the troublemakers. No matter how hard the Guide tried to explain this to his bosses, they just wouldn't listen. They told him that if he didn't like their explanation, he could quit being a Guide, if he chose to do so.

This made the Guide angry. And he let his bosses KNOW he was angry. He was angry that he had been lied to. But most of all he was angry because his bosses refused to address a very important issue. One that not only effected the Guide and his fellow Guides, but the regular members of AOL as well.

His bosses didn't like having an angry Guide around. The didn't like having a Guide around who knew they were lying. So they fired the Guide. They told him that he was being let go due to a "business decision". When the Guide asked what this meant, he was told that it meant exactly what it said. And the Guide was also fired from another position he held. When the Guide tried to work for another area, he found out that he was on a "very short list" of folks considered "security risks". His ex-bosses didn't want him working anywhere else online. He knew too much, and was apt to talk about what he knew. And they couldn't have that.

The Guide considered a number of options. He could resign himself to his plight. He could attempt to obtain legal council. He could go to the press, and alert the members of AOL to the problems they might encounter online.

What do you think that Guide decided to do?

What would YOU do?